The Swinging Guitar of Tal Farlow
not only presents Farlow at his swinging best but also features the brilliant pianist Eddie Costa in one of his too few recordings. In many ways this is a duet recording with Farlow and Costa playing off of each other above a traditional bass accompaniment. In this case "play" is no casual adjective, the chemistry between Farlow and Costa is extraordinary with lively intertwining solos and double voicings demonstrating their intuitive rapport.
Bassist Vinnie Burke is also capable of impressive solo work as demonstrated on "They Can't Take That Away From Me" in which he rises out of his supportive role to dominate the stage with a long, imaginative solo. Burke usually plays with a deep, walking bass solidity which contrasts with the often fleet, ringing guitar lines of Farlow; both crucial contributions to the success of this trio's unique "sound."
Eddie Costa, who died six years later at the age of 32, was already a complete pianist at the time of this recording. He provides Farlow and Burke with sensitive and challenging comping while his solo work is always quirky and interesting revealing a percussive quality that suggests the indirect influence of his other instrument the vibes.
Tal Farlow has never played more fluidly, displaying a rhythmic ease and agility that is sometimes startling. In this mix of swing and boppish tunes, his solo on "Yardbird Suite" is "evidence enough that at his best he belongs with Charlie Christian and Chuck Wayne as one of the early masters of the be-bop guitar. Farlow, Costa, and Burke - this was quite a trio, an exciting jazz trio that knew what playing together was all about.